It’s raining outside. The afterglow of your box’s latest Whole Life Challenge has waned. The holiday parties are piling up on the calendar. The teeny tanks and little shorts of the summer are tucked away in some drawer to make way for layers and layers of big sweatshirts and baggy pants. In short, the one-way ticket to “Going Off The Rails-ville” is all but punched.
But wait. Don’t fall for it. Don’t fall for it one minute.
When all the chaos is whipping frenetically around you, the last thing you want to do is fall straight into its path. There’s time for festivities and fun and friends, but there’s also time for fitness and discipline and hard work that shouldn’t stop because the calendar says “December.”
Of course, I can say this all now because just a couple of weeks ago, my ticket to “Going Off The Rails-ville” was all but punched.
I very recently found myself feeling lost in the gym. Competition season was, in effect, over. I was exhausted from all the hard work of an eventful summer. A stubborn sick bug left me feeling winded in workouts, like I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt slower, weaker. My PR tally was nonexistent. Nutrition, in turn, wasn’t very dialed in. I got mad at myself. Mad for not being good enough at this, for not PRing that. I’d hit my first real rut of the past year.
But I couldn’t let myself continue like this. I had to find focus again, and for me, that meant coming to a class, getting out of my head, and returning to the root of why I do what I do: because I f–ing love CrossFit. I love the quiet moment before “3, 2, 1, go,” the butterflies, the trepidation, the feel of the bar resting against my shins, the chalk on my hands, the buzz of my friends cheering each other on, the boom of my coach’s voice. I love it all. I love the amazing, little CrossFit moments.
So on this day, I came to class, not to get my ass kicked or to address a weakness or because it was Week 3, Day 4 of whatever cycle of whatever trendy program I had been trying to follow. I came in for my love of CrossFit. And on this day, I left with a smile, a shiny 135-pound clean & jerk PR, and a rekindled sense of purpose.
Annie Thorisdottir posted this on her Instagram recently, and on this day it resonated with me: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her. – Mia Hamm”
So be wary of the rut, stay focused this month and every month, and fall back in love with “the game,” whatever that might be for you. You’ll thank yourself come January.
Strength of body. Strength of heart.